The Open String puts quality stringed instruments in the hands musicians in need. From young children starting out in free music programs all the way to emerging professionals needing concert grade instruments, The Open String supports musicians by lending and donating quality violins, violas, and cellos that sound great, stay in tune, are easy to play, require minimal attention, and were crafted by reputable workshops using safe, sustainable materials.


Each Fall, The Open String grants instruments and strings to programs worldwide teaching music for free to children in need. Qualified programs may receive the following:

- Up to 25 new, high-quality instruments (violin, viola, cello) in different sizes for children and youth.
- Up to 50 sets of strings for violin, viola, cello, and bass.

The quantity donated depends on the demonstrated need of programs and the number of students they serve. 

We give preference to programs with the following qualifications:

1) is a non-profit organization or has a fiscal sponsor
2) provides free music education to children
4) dedicated to serving more than 25 students on a regular basis.


Once we review your application and offer a letter of engagement followed by an agreement, we provide instruments on loan for one year. We ask for specific commitments from our Grant recipients during the year of the instrument loan. Once these are fulfilled, we donate the instruments to the program. These are the required commitments:

a) Fulfilling program goals
- Minimum number of students enrolled  
- Minimum number of classes taught
- Demonstration of success through live performance
b) Providing exposure for The Open String (TOS) as a premier sponsor by including our logo on business materials, the Partner’s web site, and whenever the Partner acknowledge donors (Examples: events, videos, press).
c) Providing TOS a video of a performance by the program’s students for us to present at our Annual Reception (Min. 3 min. It can be one produced separately for partner’s fundraising)
d) Providing access and parental consent for TOS to photograph and publish images of the program in our materials.


Not all qualified applicants can be offered a partnership, as this depends on available funding. Those who have been denied a partnership may be offered an annual grant or cost-sharing instead.
The instruments we provide are sourced at wholesale cost from a trusted supplier whose workshop we have inspected and helped optimize for health and safety. The retail price of the quality instruments we provide is 2-3 times higher than the usual, inexpensive ones provided for child students. Ours are more solidly built for durability and performance. Our bows are not the disposable kind and are rehaired once a year by our affiliates.  
Each instrument will be properly and clearly identified with a code, tracked at all times with a log, and any student using an instrument must sign a care contract with the Program Partner, similar to the samples found on the YOLA forms library. Any damages to the instruments need to be immediately documented and reported to TOS.

Ready to fill out a Grant Application? Click here